Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chapala Birders May Newsletter

Chapala Birders Newsletter May 2, 2017
120  Species Sighted Last Month
The complete list of April sightings is shown at the end of this newsletter.
John Keeling in currently helping with the translation of the excellent Lake Chapala birding app, which is available free in the Spanish language version from both Android and Apple App Stores ('Aves de Chapala').

Interesting sightings last month:
  • George Webb reported sighting a Green Violetear at his hummingbird feeder on the laksehore west of Ajijic. This species is only rarely seen here. We have previously seen one at Las Trojes.
  • We continue to be impressed by birds which stick to very specific 'niche' locations. For instance the Western Kingbirds seen this winter on the Allen Lloyd trail can be still be seen there, but in reduced numbers; and several Orchard Orioles can now be seen at the pier in Jocotepec exactly where we have sighted one or two of them in prior years.
  • We received a photo of a fledgling green and blue bird which had landed on a terrace, and was not yet keen on practicing the art of flying. It was an Elegant Euphonia.
  • Local birder Carlos Cuevas was part of a small group of University of Guadalajara bird banders who went to La Cañada during the Easter break to band bats at dusk on the Los Sabinos creek which is a State Protected Area. An unexpected catch was the Green Kingfisher shown below.
Green Kingfisher
This male Green Kingfisher was photographed by Carlo Cuevas after being caught in mist nets at dusk on Los Sabinos Creek at the village of La Cañada.
  • The Green Kingfisher is a very small bird which we see from time to time at the east end of Lake Chapala.
  • While the male has a red breast, the female has a white breast with green spots.
  • It is a non-migratory resident with several subspecies which cover the territory from Southern Texas to Southern Brasil.
  • Found at streams and ponds, it eats small fish, crustaceans and water insects.
  • It is easily missed because it perches very low in vegetation over water.
  • It typically nests in a horizontal, meter-long tunnel in a stream bank.
Upcoming Trips and Bird Walks
Our bird walks are open to all those interested in birds, both beginners and experienced birders. Just bring binoculars and show up. We always have knowledgeable birders on hand to identify the species. If you are being given a ride, please make a contribution to gas and tolls (perhaps 50-100 pesos for a half day outing, 100-200 for a day trip).

On Wednesday May 10 we will meet at 8.30am at the Jocotepec Malecon.
We will observe water birds at the pier and explore the park for wrens and woodpeckers. At 10.15 we will go to a local restaurant for breakfast and complete the bird list.
To Get There: Driving from Ajijic, close to Jocotepec you encounter a left curve followed by serious 'topes', then a curve to the right with an OXXO on the left side of the curve. Turn left before or after the OXXO, proceed to the shore, and park.

On Monday May 22 we will meet to carpool at Donas Donuts at 8.00am, leaving immediately for Lake Atotonilco at Villa Corona (a 60 minute drive).
We expect to see Roseate Spoonbills and Wood Storks there, as well as various other lake and marsh birds. Take your own refreshments (there is no good place to have breakfast). We will be back in Ajijic about 12.30. If you plan to go please email indicating whether you can bring a vehicle, to help us balance the car pool.

Bird Walk & Trip Reports
On April 7 five people came out for the hike up the Allen Lloyd trail. Particpants were thrilled to see two Squirrel Cuckoos putting on a display. An Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush made itself visible, while a Russet-crowned Motmot was identifiable only by call. We observed 34 species in total.

On April 19 we had 17 birders out at Lake Cajititlan,
where we saw 52 species, including Yellow-headed Blackbird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Black-necked Stilt, White-tailed Kite, immature Gray Hawk, and Loggerhead Shrike.
March Sightings List
Here are the 120 species sighted around Lake Chapala in April:

Ani, groove-billed
Avocet, American (Sa)
Becard, rose-throated (Ps)
Blackbird, yellow-headed (JoCh)
Bunting, indigo
Bunting, painted (Sc)
Bunting, varied
Caracara, crested
Coot, American
Cormorant, neotropic
Cowbird, bronzed
Cuckoo, squirrel
Dove, Eurasian collared
Dove, Inca
Dove, mourning
Dove, white-tipped
Dove, white-winged
Dowitcher, long-billed (CaCh)
Duck, black-bellied whistling (Ca)
Duck, fulvous whistling (Ch)
Duck, Mexican
Duck, ruddy (CaCh)
Egret, cattle
Egret, great
Egret, snowy
Euphonia, elegant
Finch, house
Flycatcher, cordilleran
Flycatcher, dusky-capped
Flycatcher, social
Flycatcher, vermilion
Gallinule common
Godwit, marbled (Ca)
Grackle, great-tailed
Grebe, least
Grebe, pied-billed
Grosbeak, black-headed
Grosbeak, blue
Gull, laughing
Gull, ring-billed
Hawk, gray
Hawk, red-tailed
Heron, black-crowned night
Heron, great blue
Heron, green
Heron, tri-colored
Hummingbird, broad-billed
Hummingbird, violet-crowned
Ibis, white-faced
Jacana, northern
Kingbird, Cassin's
Kingbird, thick-billed
Kingbird, tropical
Kingbird, western (Sa)
Kiskadee, great
Kite, white-tailed (Ca)
Mockingbird, blue
Mockingbird, northern
Motmot, russet-crowned
Nightjar, buff-collared
Oriole, black-backed
Oriole, black-vented
Oriole, Bullock's
Oriole, orchard (Jo)
Oriole, streak-backed
Owl, great-horned
Parakeet, monk
Pelican, American white
Pelican, brown (Jo)
Pewee, western wood
Pigeon, rock
Raven, common (Jo)
Redstart, American
Robin, rufous-backed
Sandpiper, least
Sandpiper, spotted
Seedeater, white-collared
Shrike, loggerhead
Sora (Jo)
Sparrow, Botteri's
Sparrow, house
Sparrow, lark (JoSa)
Sparrow, Lincoln's (Jo)
Sparrow, rusty-crowned ground
Sparrow, savannah
Sparrow, stripe-headed
Stilt, black-necked (Jo)
Swallow, barn
Swallow, cliff (Jo)
Swallow, northern rough-winged
Tanager, western
Teal, blue-winged
Teal, cinnamon
Tern, Caspian
Tern, Forster's (Sa)
Thrasher, curve-billed
Thrush, orange-billed nightingale (At)
Towhee, canyon
Tyrannulet, northern beardless
Violetear, green (Jo)
Vireo, Bell's
Vireo, golden
Vulture, black
Warbler, MacGillivray's
Warbler, Nashville
Warbler, orange-crowned
Warbler, Virginia's
Warbler, Wilson's
Warbler, Yellow
Warbler, yellow-rumped
Willet (Ch)
Woodpecker, golden-fronted
Woodpecker, ladder-backed
Wren, Bewick's
Wren, canyon
Wren, house (Jo)
Wren, marsh (Ca)
Yellowthroat, common (JoCa)

Location codes:
Ac - Ajijic: La Cristina/El Bajio
At - Trails above Ajijic
Av - Ajijic village
Ca - Lake Cajititlan
Ch - Chapala
Cu - Cuitzeo/Ocotlan
Dm - Dike near Malteraña
Dp - Dike near La Palma
Hv - Hidden Valley oak forest
Ja - Jamay
Jo - Jocotepec
Ld - Lerma & Duero rivers
Pe - Petatan area
Ps - Pumping Station/Santa Cruz
Pt - San Pedro Tesistan area
Pz - San Pedro Itzican area
Ra - Rosa Amarilla loop
Rc - Santa Rosa/Carnero dam
Rp - Riberas del Pilar & canyon
Sa - San Antonio/Chula Vista
Sc - San Juan Cosala
Sn - San Nicholas/Golf Club
Tz - Tizapan canyon/Rio la Pasion
Te - San Juan Tecomatlan/Mezcala
Tr - Las Trojes/oak forest
Tu - Tuxcueca/South Shore area
Xt - Ixtlahuacan/Las Campanillas
Lake Chapala Birders is an informal group of bird observers led by John and Rosemary Keeling. Don't hesitate to contact us if you are seeking information about birding in the area. We also like to hear about sightings of birds or nests at: or 376.766.1801. Check out the website: